Judge David Urias Halts New Mexico Governor’s Controversial Gun Ban, Citing Constitutional Concerns

Lujan Grisham | Source: commons.wikimedia.org

In a recent decision, Judge David Urias of the U.S. District Court halted the 30-day firearm carry prohibition imposed by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, labeling it as a breach of the Constitution.

Proponents of the Second Amendment celebrated the interim restraining order, emphasizing their commitment to challenging the ban further. Erich Pratt, the Senior VP of Gun Owners of America, expressed his satisfaction with the judgment on the organization’s website, emphasizing that the Governor cannot disregard the Constitution at will. This sentiment was echoed by other groups, including the Second Amendment Foundation and the National Association for Gun Rights.

Allen M. Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, commended the swift judicial action against what he termed an “unquestionably unconstitutional” move by the Governor. He stressed that no executive has the power to unilaterally suspend constitutional rights.

Governor Grisham’s initial order, issued on September 8, identified gun-related violence in Albuquerque as a public health crisis, leading to the controversial firearm carry ban. This move was met with resistance not only from Second Amendment supporters but also from some gun control advocates and law enforcement officials.

Bernalillo County Sheriff, John Allen, expressed his concerns about the enforceability of such an order, emphasizing its constitutional issues. Similarly, Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman, appointed by Governor Grisham, along with Albuquerque’s Mayor and Police Chief, declined to implement the ban.

Prominent gun control advocate, David Hogg, voiced his apprehensions, stating that the Constitution doesn’t provide for exceptions based on public health emergencies.

Governor Grisham defended her decision, stating it was made after thorough discussions with local law enforcement and public representatives. However, Sheriff Allen revealed that they were informed about the Governor’s plan just shortly before its public announcement, despite their reservations.

The order would have required civilians with firearm carry permits to secure their weapons in locked containers and employ additional safety measures. However, licensed security personnel and police officers would be exempted.

During a press briefing on September 8, Governor Grisham emphasized that no constitutional rights are absolute. She argued that certain rights can be suspended during emergencies. This perspective was met with strong opposition from Second Amendment activists, who remain confident about their stance in the ongoing legal battle.